PPSMI

Two important factors in promoting English Language Acquisition are input and practice. PPSMI (Teaching and Learning Science and Maths in English) provides both.

First of all, the students vocabulary is widened when they learn about terms and concepts of maths and science in English. Especially when they start as early as in Standard 1. Being introduced to names of things, terms and concepts in English has made the students grown accustomed to them that when people mention these things in Bahasa Melayu, it would require some effort for them to understand. Sufficient input in English promotes better acquisition of the language.

Apart from that, in PPSMI students are forced to use English (either speaking or writing) in classroom, while writing report and doing homework and most importantly in exams. Moreover, not only the students but the teachers will also benefit from it as well. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect.

As a result, students' performance in English subject will improve. This is evident when we observe the results of English papers in Public Exams such as PMR and SPM. It gets better every year (based on my own observation on my own students).

As an English teacher, I noticed that it is easier to teach my students since English is not alien anymore. In fact, they become more interested in my teaching and always consult me whenever they need guidance to write their science report (physics, chemistry and biology for upper secondary students). Therefore, I have to always make sure that I am able to help them by thinking of effective ways or techniques which can help the students to make use of their own experience and knowledge of the language to maximize their performance.

In a nutshell, don't chicken out by totally rejecting PPSMI but challenge ourselves instead. Stretch our limits and we will be surprised by how much we can achieve. Science subjects are tough regardless of whatever language they are taught in. Always remember that "life is not a bed of roses". Study harder, go for tuition or form study groups, and by God's willing you will improve. All we need to do is open our mind and make a paradigm shift.